GRAZIER Rick Britton says if the rainfall does comes through his Boulia property, he will have to down a "carton of lemons” to take the grin off his face.
With the Bureau of Meteorology's prediction that the Central West is expected to receive thunderstorm and heavy falls coming into next Monday, property owners are "holding their breath” and hoping for the best.
"I hope the weatherman gets it right for everyone's sake,” Mr Britton said.
"Even if half of it comes through, it will lift the spirits of a vast area of Queensland.
"We've been drought declared since April 2013 and were one of the first shires to be bouncing along the bottom, trying to survive.
"The trouble is you get sceptical after a while because since November last year we've been told there was going to be an 80 per cent chance of rain but when it gets here it's only 10 per cent... although there's a fair few people now ticking boxes saying there will be a rain event.”
Mr Britton said the Central West "needs a good drink”, just like the heavy rain activity that hit the coast and Central Queensland last week.
The cattle market has also taken a huge hit since the 2007 drought, with a live export ban during the drought and a low commodity for cattle.
"We were more or less giving them away and there was no other option to go anywhere else with them,” Mr Britton said.
"If the rain took place it would be a god-send... as we're still trying to keep livestock.
"We try and manoeuvre them around to keep a cash flow and sell enough stock to get through until next time but we still need enough stock for when it rains next.
"If we don't get another rain event, we only have another month of March where we're relying on a rain event and if we don't get it there's going to be a massive offload of livestock.”
Mr Britton said most property owners in the Central Quest have the "minimum livestock because it's been so dry for so long”.
"A lot will have to be just about totally de-stocked.
"But on the positive side, because of the rain near Roma and that, the cattle market has lifted again, with the option to get value for those cattle and put the money aside in the bank and when season returns and we can repurchase.
"Mother nature is a funny lady at times: she can really rip your heart out but that's a part of living in a remote area of where the rain is marginal.
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